Summer Reading's For Teens Too
May 23, 2012
As most of you probably know, the Summer Reading Program has officially begun! Library staff at every level work hard to make sure it's a blast every year. Pages reshelve the massive cartloads of books that get returned. Circulation staff check materials in and out, manage accounts, and help with program registration. Reference staff answer questions that range in complexity. Branch managers coordinate schedules to make sure everything gets done in an orderly fashion. Our marketing department prints and distributes promotional materials to the branches. The Youth Services Department makes sure we have plenty of prizes to give away and that staff know how to register users for the program. And I'm sure I'm missing someone. The point is that if even one link of the chain failed, the Summer Reading Program would not be successful!
Something I've noticed is that our entire staff is really excited about doing all of this! As I've mentioned our preparations in passing, I've had friends raise their eyebrows and ask, "Why would anyone go to all that trouble?" The answer is simple: we believe in getting the community excited about reading. We're a visual culture though, and we have to recognize that people are drawn to imagery. Every year, the Collaborative Summer Library Program decides on themes for the children's and teen's Summer Reading Program. It's our job to interpret those themes, bring them to life, and invite youth to explore them at length.
I'm especially excited about the Teen Summer Reading Program this year. The theme is "Own the Night," and I've seen some very different interpretations! Some branches have embraced the creatures of the night theme. Others have created dreamy starscapes. No two branches are quite the same!
This year, instead of awarding prize books to teens, we're giving away library bucks. Instead of completing a certain number of minutes of reading, teens finish a book and submit a review of it online. For every review submitted, they will receive one library buck. Library bucks can be exchanged for prizes.
Having trouble getting into reading? I hate to say it, but you're probably reading the wrong books. Don't worry, it happens to the best of us. It's kind of funny now, but I used to hate reading! My mother had to tempt me with Stephen King to get me interested in it. Way to go, Mr. King. You're probably the reason I work in a library! So yes, there really is something out there for everyone.
Stop by the Library for some awesome recommendations (This is probably my favorite part about my job) or ask a staff member about Novelist. Novelist is an incredible resource when you don't know how to start looking for a book. Want a fast-paced young adult novel featuring angels (or other supernatural creatures)? Would you like it to take place in London? You can search for something that contains all of these elements. How cool is that? You might even discover something you never would have stumbled upon otherwise! One word of advice: start with a very simple search and then apply the filters on the left-hand side of the screen once your first results pop up. It's good to start with a broad search and gradually narrow it down.
So you've found some awesome books to read and review. That's great! Don't forget about the great teen programming going on this summer! Keeping with the "Night" theme, we'll be experimenting with after-hours programming. Select branches are hosting lock-ins over the summer. Two are scheduled to be hosted at the Buckner branch. We'll play games, watch cheesy horror movies, and maybe have a spooktacular craft or two. Register online for one (or both) of the following dates. The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. I look forward to experiencing the fun first-hand in July!
And remember to pick up a Teen Summer Programming guide the next time you're in the Library. That's the small, bright blue pamphlet on the youth services desk upstairs. It's full of ways to own the night!
North Independence Branch